A jury representing the international press presented the Press Award at Horti Fair 2012 to a consortium of AVAG companies (Dutch greenhouse and installation sector) for its Next Generation Semi-Closed Greenhouse. The Next Generation Semi-Closed Greenhouse represents a modest additional investment and achieves a 20% to 30% reduction in energy consumption by using a heat pump and mechanical dehumidification. The Next Generation Semi-Closed Greenhouse is potentially capable of making a major contribution to further sustainability in greenhouse horticulture all over the world.
The international press chose the Next Generation Semi-Closed Greenhouse as the most important innovation at Horti Fair 2012. In the words of the jury: “The consortium that introduces the Next Generation Semi-Closed Greenhouse on the market, confirms the course taken by Dutch horticulture. The concept of ‘the closed greenhouse’ was in 2003 winner of the Horti Fair Innovation Award. Since then the concept has been further developed. Under the auspices of AVAG, a big step has been taken, particularly to further enhance sustainability of the greenhouse. “
The Next Generation Semi-Closed Greenhouse is currently being tested under practical conditions at tomato grower Lans in Rilland. Researcher Feije de Zwart of Wageningen UR Glastuinbouw is monitoring this practical test.
“A compartment measuring 4000m² has been modified and equipped with an air treatment system to allow greenhouse dehumidification when the windows are closed. Closing the greenhouse in the winter saves 4m³ of natural gas and use of a heat pump in combination with a small CHP system, and a small aquifer generates a further saving of 6m³. That amounts to a total of 10m³ of natural gas per m² per year. In addition, better dehumidification control raises product quality to a higher level. In short, the Next Generation Semi-Closed Greenhouse is a sustainable innovation that offers both financial and production benefits,” said Feije de Zwart.
Those participating in the project include: P.L.J. Bom (Naaldwijk), Certhon (Poeldijk), Van Dijk Heating (Bunnik), Glascom Tuinbouw (Rijswijk), Technokas (De Lier), VB Group (De Lier), Zantingh (Rijsenhout), Arend-Sosef (Honselersdijk), Beemster Elektrotechniek (Heerhugowaard), HAWE Systems Europe (Bergschenhoek) and Priva (De Lier). Funding has been provided in the form of contributions from Rabobank Westland’s DIT Fund and the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation within the framework of the Kas als Energiebron (Greenhouse as a Source of Energy) programme.